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Dow Chemical makes moves to revamp business

October 22, 2015
Chemical Value Chain

Dow Chemical Co. on Thursday unveiled a number of moves to reshape its business and leadership team, as the company reported earnings for the third quarter that easily topped Wall Street expectations.

Shares of Dow jumped 5.5% in light premarket trading.

Dow named James R. Fitterling its operations chief. Mr. Fitterling and Howard Ungerleider, the company’s financial chief, were both named vice chairmen.

Dow, which has been reshaping its business over the past few years, said it would restructure its joint ventures in Kuwait over the next nine months. Dow said it would receive $1.5 billion in pretax proceeds by reducing its ownership in the MEGlobal venture.

The company also said it would review options for its Dow AgroSciences business.

The Michigan-based company, which manufactures products ranging from insecticides to paint to plastics, also said it boosted its quarterly dividend by 10% to 46 cents a share and will accelerate its $5 billion stock-buyback program.

The comments came as Dow reported better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter. The company reported a profit of $1.29 billion, or $1.09 a share, up from $852 million, or 71 cents a share, a year earlier.

Profit was lifted by a $621 million gain from the sale of its AgroFresh business.

Excluding certain items, per-share operating earnings were 82 cents, compared to 72 cents a year earlier. Analysts expected 69 cents in earnings per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Sales slid 16% to $12.04 billion, hurt by pricing and currency. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $12.38 billion in sales.

Dow’s results have been hurt recently by currency fluctuations. The company generates about two-thirds of its revenue outside of the U.S., and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar makes its products more expensive abroad.

Volume rose 2% excluding divestitures and acquisitions.

By Chelsey Dulaney

Source: Chemical Week

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